This paper studies the strategic considerations required to achieve success in a post-acquisition setting in the case of Royal Unibrew A/S in Italy. The Italian consumption pattern is changing. Consumers demand more premium products that can be enjoyed in moderation and in the presence of others. These trends, premiumization, social drinking and ‘the good life’, along with a reduction in consumption of unhealthy beverages, are the primary trends driving the beverage industries. Understanding and exploiting these trends is vital to staying ahead and avoid stagnation with the traditional market. Despite high brand recognitions and preferences, little to no switching costs are present in the industry, making it very attractive for firms to compete for market shares through heavy marketing. Interindustry substitutions remains the biggest threat to soft drink manufacturers, while alcoholic drink consumption declines across the whole industry. Without a clear sustainable competitive advantage, Royal Unibrew’s ability to stay ahead of the competition and maintain attractive margins is challenged by their ability to adapt to the changing industry and control costs. Royal Unibrew’s success with Terme di Crodo in the Italian market is highly dependent on their strategic decision making and how they elect to go forward with their newly acquired brands. This paper suggests that Royal Unibrew exploit the premiumization trends by delivering high quality beverage to consumers that are seekers of ‘the good life’. A combination of repositioning of Terme di Crodo’s carbonates brands and a greater focus placed on the bottled water brand, Crodo Lisiel, should benefit Royal Unibrew’s margins as well as long-term shareholder value by becoming a noticeable player in the premium soft drink category in Italy. Ceres’ strong distribution network as well as the organizations experience in operational efficiency and marketing should greatly benefit the Terme di Crodo brands.
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